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Retail, eatery efforts aired
EDC's Heath updates board
Wednesday, September 25, 2013
By DEBBIE HALL - Bulletin Staff Writer
The Martinsville-Henry County Economic Development Corp. has set its sights on recruiting companies such as Cook Out, Ollie’s Outlet, K&W (cafeteria) and Quiznos to the area.
In his monthly update to the Henry County Board of Supervisors on Tuesday, Mark Heath, president/CEO of the EDC, said those efforts are in various stages of discussion.
For instance, Cook Out has not confirmed a location yet. Contact with the site manager of Ollie’s has been made via email, and EDC staff also has reached out either to corporate or regional officials of the other companies.
Recruiting efforts are continuing, Heath said.
Recent retail developments include several locations of Dollar General stores, a new Bojangles in Ridgeway, a Family Dollar store under construction in Horsepasture and several others.
The EDC also is working with a retail consultant to create a comprehensive retail data package that will include a target market profile (residents, visitors and employees), psychographics (study of individuals and communities and their values, attitudes, interests and lifestyles), statistical retail demand analysis and business development.
Heath distributed an informational sheet about the Smith River Fest. The Aug. 10 festival attracted an estimated 2,400-plus visitors. Festival staff and volunteers made contact with each vehicle entering the festival grounds at the Smith River Sports Complex from 8:30 a.m. to 5 p.m. to document the number of visitors and primary ZIP codes, accord-
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ing to the information.
About 80 percent of the visitors were local, compared with 20 percent from out of town. Of those from out of the area, the average number of miles traveled was more than 160 one way and travel time was more than 2.5 hours, the report showed. Sixty-three percent of those attending the festival were new participants, compared with 37 percent who had attended the event one or more times since it began in 2008, according to the report.
Also at the meeting Tuesday afternoon, the supervisors:
• Accepted and appropriated a $20,117 Edward Byrne Memorial Justice Assistance Grant (JAG) to the Henry County Sheriff’s Office to pay additional personnel to work overtime in areas with increased crime.
• Accepted and appropriated two grants, totaling $38,714, for traffic enforcement, including a $32,714 grant from the Division of Motor Vehicles and a regional $6,000 grant through the Martinsville Police Department. Those funds also will pay deputies overtime for working extra speeding, occupant protection and alcohol/DUI assignments. The sheriff’s office will provide the required in-kind match through use of equipment.
• Designated Collinsville Supervisor Joe Bryant to serve as a voting representative for the 2013 Virginia Association of Counties (VACo) annual meeting Nov. 10-12. Ridgeway District Supervisor H.G. Vaughn was designated as alternate. The two can vote on the county’s behalf on any issues that may arise at the meeting. Reed Creek District Supervisor Tommy Slaughter is on a waiting list to attend the meeting.
• Approved items of consent that included confirming the minutes of the Aug. 27 and Sept. 10 meetings and accounts payable.
• In a report from County Treasurer Scott Grindstaff, learned that 96 percent of the personal property taxes and 93 percent of real estate taxes were collected by Aug. 30.
• Awarded a $48,403.21 contract to low bidder Cunningham Recreation (doing business as GameTime of Charlotte, N.C.), to install playground equipment at the Fieldale Park.
• Awarded a $37,000 contract to low bidder Hall Automotive of Virginia Beach for a Ford one-ton truck with a dump bed (a replacement vehicle) for the Parks and Recreation Department.
• Approved partnering with the Henry County Public Schools to allow employees to buy iPads and laptop computers through a payroll deduction plan.
Employees can buy the items through the school system’s contracts with its vendors. Participating employees will have a monthly payment deducted from their paychecks for six months, beginning in January. No interest will be charged on the transaction.
Participating employees are required to sign contracts and are obligated to pay for their purchases even if they leave their jobs during the six-month period.
County Administrator Tim Hall said employees in the Henry-Martinsville Social Services and the city of Martinsville also had participated in the popular program.
Details about available items and prices have not been determined, Hall said.
• Approved an additional appropriation of $41,381 to add to a previous appropriation of $105,674 for the Video Visitation Project for county inmates’ use or other capital projects. According to Sheriff Lane Perry, the money was raised by charging inmates $1.50 per day as allowed by the Virginia Code.
• Awarded a $246,091.50 contract to Haley Ford-South of Richmond for nine vehicles, including five marked Ford patrol vehicles at a cost of $27,739.90 each and four unmarked vehicles at a cost of $26,848 each.
• Frank Grimes, of the Reed Creek District, had requested time on the agenda to discuss cats. He did not attend the meeting.
• Met in closed session to discuss appointees to the Anchor Commission, pending legal matters, the acquisition/disposal of real estate and as-yet unannounced industries.